Global FMCG manufacturer reduces monthly promotional reporting time by 60% and transforms marketing intelligence capability

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Industry:  Retail

Solution:  Promotional Data Science Platform

Location:  South Africa

Client:  A world-leading food and beverage organisation that serves more than 200 countries and territories globally.


The client needed to transform the way they managed and measured ROMI (return on marketing investment) across hundreds of stock-keeping units (SKUs) into thousands of outlets.

The Client:

A world-leading food and beverage organisation that serves more than 200 countries and territories globally.

The Requirement:

The client, a fast-moving consumer goods manufacturer (FMCG) managing some of the world’s biggest brands, needed to transform the way they managed and measured ROMI (return on marketing investment) across hundreds of stock stock-keeping units (SKUs) into thousands of outlets.

  • Before Decision Inc. assisted, data was collected in an Excel spreadsheet that required manual calculations for each product line. Data volumes continued to grow, becoming too large for Excel to manage.
  • KPIs such as sales-in versus sales-out and ROMI could not be seen at the point of impact, outlet, and product, and it was difficult to compare the data against Annual Business Plan.
  • Collecting data across different departments was complex because differing reporting formats and calculations were being used.

The Solution:

Decision Inc. developed an innovative Promotional Data Science Platform using Alteryx and Qlik Sense to deliver a solution that consolidated the required data and delivered it in a format where the return on investment of promotions could easily be visualised and interpreted. The solution provided the FMCG with the following:

  • Automation of data collection – All teams now speak the same language and upload data in the same format, saving many hours of manual collection and consolidation
  • Daily tracking of promotions – Sales are pulled into the model daily which provides the teams with a view of planned and actual ROI, uplifts and profit and loss (P&L) per promotion. Comparisons can also be made with the product performance of competitors
  • Daily optimisation of promotions – promotions are compared against the Annual Operating Plan (AOP) to see how closely they align. Interventions can quickly be made to correct promotions that are not meeting targets or delivering according to their mandate
  • Greater processing speeds, transparency and quicker decision making.

“We developed an automated system that allowed for the broader range of data – AOP, sales-in, sales-out – to be leveraged at a granular level. These data sets, combined with customer-level pricing and promotions, allow for the client to identify price sensitivity among customer segments and products and build a foundation for a recommender system.”

Leandra Webb-Ray,

Data Scientist & Information Engineer,

Decision Inc.

The Outcome:

The engagement with Decision Inc. to deliver this solution not only transformed visibility across multiple silos, sales teams, departments, and data, but allowed for consistent and strategic management of promotions through a single pane of glass. The solution optimised promotion management and insights to align with strategic business imperatives and succeeded in transforming revenue management parameters and ensuring ROI.

“We used statistical methods before in Excel, but now it all sits in one tool, so we have a lot of guard rails that keep our promotions on track. We didn’t have a tracker for auditing purposes, but now we have all the metrics calculated automatically and shown in one place, and that empowers our sales teams in the development and execution of promotions,”

FMCG project lead

The organisation now has:

  • Increased forecast accuracy – forecasts are now based on statistical analysis and modelling, reducing risk of human error, and increasing confidence in the forecast
  • Increased efficiency and processing speed – saving time for both Demand Planners and Customer teams (to spend more time in front of their customers)
  • Improved data quality – leveraging data directly from the IT infrastructure where it is housed
  • Daily forecasting – for quick decision making
  • Increased transparency – reports are generated automatically and circulated to key stakeholders
  • A single source of promotional analytics – Revenue management, Demand Planning, Commercial Finance all receive the same analytics.

The engagement with Decision Inc.:

“Decision Inc. was phenomenal in managing business expectations around what was feasible and what wasn’t throughout the implementation phase. We picked up data quality issues and these were quickly resolved, and they have spent time with the sales teams to show them the value and really help them get the most from the solution.”

FMCG project lead